Developer Survey Results 2016 Developer Survey Results 2016

This year, over fifty thousand developers shared where they work, what they build, and who they are. You are about to read the results of the most comprehensive developer survey ever conducted.

Every 8 seconds or so, a developer asks a question on Stack Overflow. This year, 56,033 coders in 173 countries answered the call.

We asked them 45 questions. Key highlights include the following:

For the first time, more developers are using Mac than Linux as their primary OS. Only 7% of developers identify as “rockstars”. Most developers prefer dogs to cats. (But not developers in Germany.)

Surveys aren’t perfect. While our large sample size helps offset some biases, it’s still biased against devs who don’t speak English, or who don’t like taking English-language surveys. In some sections we’ve augmented the results with insights gleaned from the activity of Stack Overflow’s 40 million monthly visitors. If you’re an employer, we’d be happy to help you reach those developers. If you’re a developer (you’re probably a developer), we hope you sign up.

Throughout these results we’ll be using the terms “developers”, “devs”, and “respondents” interchangeably. We’ll also be keeping commas outside quotation marks, because that’s what developers do.

This year we asked respondents if they are Engineers, Experts, Hackers or any of the other descriptors we’ve frequently seen in job listings, business cards, and Twitter bios.

95% of developers identify as either a Developer, Programmer, Engineer, Senior Developer or Full-Stack Developer. Embedded Application Developers are most likely to identify as Engineers. Graphics Programmers are most likely to identify as Programmers.

But Developer is the runaway choice here. It’s our top choice, too.

The average developer is 29.6 years old. The median is 27.

Average developer age varies by country.

The average developer has about 6.5 years IT or programming experience. This isn’t necessarily professional experience (the average student tells us they have 3.4 years experience). Developers gain experience by building things, even if they’re doing it unpaid or part-time. We’ve found this experience distribution to closely match that of more than 230,000 developers who make their CVs available on Stack Overflow.

Worldwide, the median Front-End Web Developer has 3.5 years experience. The median Full-Stack Developer has 8 years experience. And the median Engineering Manager has 13 years experience.

While women make up about 6% of total respondents, they make up an even smaller percentage of respondents in their 30s and 40s. The gender disparity in tech is shamefully imbalanced across the age spectrum.

We can’t claim to know the answer to bridging the gender gap in tech, but we think sharing data with the public is a productive step in advancing more dialogue across the industry. That’s why in about a month we’ll be releasing a full dataset of survey results for you to analyze yourself. Follow us on Twitter to stay updated.

Overall, about 73% of developers tell us they think diversity is at least somewhat important in the workplace. 41% of developers say diversity is very important. And developers who most often influence hiring decisions are more likely to believe in the value of diversity than other developer types.

We received some feedback this year that in addition to gender and diversity in general, we should have asked about ethnicity. It’s definitely something we’ll consider. What else should we ask about next year?

69% of all developers tell us they are at least partly self-taught. (13% of respondents across the globe tell us they are only self-taught.) 43% of developers have either a BA or BS in computer science or a related field. 2% of developers have a PhD.


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